Life transitions and times of transformation are something that my friend and mentor, Jacquelyn Small, often refers to as “hanging in the dangle”.
I asked her if she would write a description of this concept for my newsletter, which is all about transformation. She graciously responded with the following article:
Transformation does not occur incrementally like skill building does, where we get better and better at something everyday. Transformation is shifts in consciousness that happen through sequences of death and rebirth; we die to the old and awaken to a whole new way of being. And believe me: this is not always fun! When we die to some way we’ve always been, there nearly always follows a feeling of depression. We’ve lost interest and feel we’ll never be interested in anything again. So there is a place along this journey to wholeness where we all feel completely disoriented and helpless. In our work we call it “hanging in the dangle” between an old way of being that has died and a new way that’s not yet arrived.
Often, this state is so uncomfortable, we try to return to the old ways. And we discover very quickly that it just doesn’t work. The old is truly dead, and no one is capable of carrying a dead carcass on their backs for long! So we “hang there.” We await some new opportunity to come knocking, something to move us onward, while sometimes even losing our faith in life. But here’s the good news: This is a temporary state! And a natural one along our journey to wholeness.
Many today are in this place, because the “old” in our bigger world has died. This is the end of an Age. So it’s not just personal. We are all hanging in the dangle, though many still believe the old ways will return and try strenuously to make it happen. We are in the midst of an enormous shift in consciousness, moving into a way we’ve never before experienced. And this is very scary — especially for people with a lot of control issues. But the shift is not quite here yet. So we are still experiencing the crisis of polarity that always occurs before a major consciousness shift occurs.
So bear with it, my friends, and stay focused on the future instead of looking back. And if possible, perhaps just knowing that this is a natural state in the transformational journey might help you stay centered as you hang there, dangling between your old life and the new. Be courageous to go with whatever feels the least bit inspiring for you to head for. Inspiration is often our guide.
~ Jacquelyn Small